People in England are banned from having casual sex with someone from a different household if they are living under in a Tier 2 or three coronavirus lockdown.

Boyfriends and girlfriends will be able to meet outdoors in Tier 2 but are expected to adhere to social distancing rules such as hands, face and space.

They must also adhere to the rule of six.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman told a briefing of Westminster journalists: “The rules on household mixing in Tier 2 set out that you should mix with your own household only unless you’ve formed a support bubble and that obviously does apply to some couples.”

A support bubble is a network between a single-person home and one other household of any size , according to the government rules.

Both London and Essex are set to be plunged into Tier 2 at midnight tonight.

Asked why there was no exemption for people in established relationships in Tier 2, he replied: “Because the purpose of the measures that were put in place is to break the chain in transmission between households and the scientific advice is there is greater transmission of the virus indoors.”

Asked if couples in Tier 2 can meet outside, he said: “Yes, as it was set out in the guidance that was published this week the ban on household mixing is in relation to indoors and outdoors the rule of six applies.”

He also said people living in Tier 2 areas should not go to Tier 1 areas to socialise indoors.

He added: “As has been the case throughout this pandemic – whether in following guidance or more recently when we placed it into law – you should behave at all times in the basis of the tier that you live in.

“So if you live in Tier 2, you leave Tier 2, you should continue to behave under the rules for Tier 2.”

This means someone from a Tier 2, he said, could not leave the area to go to socialise a pub in Tier 1 area.

Casual sex is technically legal indoors in a Tier 1 lockdown.

However, it goes against the guidance as people not in a support bubble or "established relationship" are meant to be social distancing when they gather indoors.